Weaning Baby from Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is one of the most amazing parts of new motherhood. But at some point, whether it’s your decision or your baby’s, breastfeeding will come to an end, and you’ll need to think about weaning.

This can be a confusing time, with both emotional and physical consequences.

When to start weaning your baby is a personal decision. Sometimes baby makes it easy by showing signs of losing interest, particularly when they begin to eat solids.

You may have your own reasons for starting the weaning process early, and while this can be a little trickier, with a few things in mind, can be done in a way that keeps both mum and baby happy.

Before you start, make sure it’s the right time. Avoid commencing weaning if your baby is sick or unwell, or if you are. Also delay weaning if your family is undergoing change or a going through a stressful period.

How to begin Weaning

  • Slowly reduce the number of breast-feeds and how long each one goes for.
  • Over the course of weeks or months, you can reduce as quickly as you feel comfortable, which will gradually cause your milk supply to decrease, and eventually stop all together.
  • The slower you go, the lesser the chance of engorgement, which can be painful and cause block milk ducts or mastitis.
  • A good way to go is to begin by reducing your lunch time feed. Once baby is used to it, you can work on reducing another one.
  • Make sure you still spend plenty of time with your child and give them plenty of cuddles.

Side effects

If your breasts become uncomfortable, you can massage them in the shower to release a little bit of the pressure. Don’t release too much milk, as you’re trying to reduce your supply, but enough to make you comfortable.

A warm compress can also help reduce pain and swelling.

What about my baby’s nutrition?

If you’re weaning your baby before they turn 1, it’s important to ensure they’re receiving adequate nutrition.

If you’re not expressing milk, be sure to provide baby with an iron-fortified formula.

Depending on your baby’s age, you can use a bottle or a sippy cup. These days there are plenty of great quality baby’s bottles that replicate the nipple effectively.

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